Throwing yourself an apartment housewarming party seems like such a grown-up thing to do, doesn’t it? Now that you’ve got your own place, you want to show it off to your friends in a way that lets them know you’ve got this whole adult thing under control.
The problem, of course, is that classy parties require cash, and that money tree just hasn’t been blooming lately. How are you going to throw a grown-up party without breaking the bank?
First of all: breathe. A housewarming party doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Although you do want to show off your new apartment, you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Here’s how to throw a nice party on the cheap.
Tip #1: Don’t do it right after you move in.
Getting your apartment in show-off shape takes time. You want your place to be organized, decorated nicely and above all else, clean. Although your friends will be dying to see your apartment right away, give yourself two or three weeks to unpack, settle in and get the place in tip-top shape.
Tip #2: Figure out how many people your apartment can comfortably hold.
If you live in a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, chances are you don’t have a ton of extra space. In this case, a small party will be much more fun for everyone, so limit your guest list to your closest friends only. On the other hand, if you’ve got plenty of extra space? Go nuts. Just make sure you’ve got lots of seating and remember to keep the noise level under control.
Tip #3: Use Facebook to invite people.
Yes, written invitations are super classy. But do you really want to go through the trouble of having them printed, mailing them out and waiting on responses? That takes time, not to mention money, and you can accomplish the same thing through Facebook’s event feature. Just create the event, be specific about the time and place, and invite the friends you want to be there. Don’t be afraid to lean on that one person who annoyingly responds “maybe” – you need to know how many people are coming, so get an accurate head count however you can.
- Read more: How to Be a Good House Guest
Tip #4: Keep the refreshments simple.
Will your housewarming party include dinner for your guests? It doesn’t have to – if you start the party at 8 p.m., for instance, your guests will have eaten dinner before they arrive – but if you want to serve a meal, keep it simple. Grilling out is always a winner, and supplying burgers or hot dogs for a small group of people won’t be too hard on your wallet. If you’re not serving dinner, a simple spread of chips and dip, cookies or small hors d’oeuvres will do the trick.
- Read more: How to Host a Dinner Party in Your Apartment
Tip #5: Have an activity in mind.
At most parties, conversation is king. Let your guests mingle, chat and catch up with each other, and that’ll be great entertainment for the evening. But if the conversation starts to wane, have a group activity in mind as a backup plan. If your friends enjoy board games or parlor games such as Charades, you could have a tournament. If you’d rather play a new game, just Google “housewarming party games” and you’ll find all sorts of ways to entertain your guests. But remember: Don’t force people to play a game if they’re already having a good time. If your guests are entertained simply by each other’s company, your party will be an effortless success.
Tip #6: Specify an ending time, but don’t get married to it.
Classy parties end at a reasonable hour. But if your party turns into a rager, go with it! (Quietly, though. You don’t want to disturb your new neighbors.) Let your guests stay as long as the party is going strong, and they’ll come back for more fun parties as long as you live there.
- Read more: 10 Best Housewarming Gifts
What are your tips for hosting a classy housewarming party on the cheap?